Page 379 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 12 February 2013

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MADAM SPEAKER: I think you make a point. Can I ask that we put a pin in that until Ms Burch finishes answering the question, and before we go to the next question I will be happy to do so. Ms Burch.

MS BURCH: Thank you. The people of the local community have not raised with me any concerns. They are pleased that the work in Taylor school will progress and that we will increase the numbers in the preschool. What they have raised with me is the fact that they have been left out and deserted by the leadership of those opposite.

MADAM SPEAKER: Minister Burch, I drew to your attention, in answering the question, that comments about people’s political future were not relevant to the question and I will sit you down. Your time has expired, so I cannot sit you down.

I will go back to the guidance that Mr Corbell sought. The standing orders clearly say—and this was an innovation which, correct me if I am wrong, came about during the last Assembly, the idea of stopping the clock. One of the things that were discussed in meetings with presiding officers, people who sat in the chair during the last Assembly, was that there was a bit of a general outburst at any time there were any interruptions, with people on both sides yelling out, “Stop the clock. Stop the clock.” It was reinforced that it was a matter for the Speaker’s discretion.

I will stop the clock when I consider that there is something appropriate. For instance, I think that frivolous points of order should not result in a stopping of the clock. It is sometimes hard to know, in anticipation, whether something is going to be frivolous or not. Things which are frivolous and can be dealt with quickly do not require a stopping of the clock. If someone takes a point of order that requires some discussion, then I will stop the clock. But when someone takes a frivolous point of order that can be dismissed by saying there is no point of order, I do not believe it is necessary.

Mr Barr: Such as Mr Coe’s.

MADAM SPEAKER: Such as Mr Coe’s, yes. I do not need prompting from you. I thought it was pretty clear, without drawing a line under it, that I was referring to recent frivolous points of order.

As a general rule, I do not want to hear this sort of come back or natter or chorus “stop the clock”. It may be appropriate, if something is going on for a long while and I have failed to stop the clock, that someone can politely draw it to my attention or the attention of the person who is sitting in the chair. But generally speaking, if it can be dealt with quickly, I will not stop the clock. If it is taking time, I will.

Hospital—emergency departments

MR WALL: My question is to the Minister for Health. The Health quarterly performance report of September 2012 states that only 99 per cent of emergency department category 1 patients were seen “immediately”. Category 1 patients are commonly termed resuscitation patients. Minister, why were a percentage of patients needing resuscitation not seen immediately?

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